Title: The Boleyn King (The Boleyn Trilogy #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
A SHATTERED EMPIRE
The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The toxic blood lotus flower continues to ravage the land, the deadlands splitting wider by the day. The machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild conspire to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously - by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.
A DARK LEGACY
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.
A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.
The ghosts of a blood-stained past.
You can read my review of the first book, Stormdancer HERE.
I put off reading Kinslayer until this year because, to me, there is nothing worse than reading the middle book of a trilogy and being stuck with a huge cliffhanger for a year. So if there was a cliffhanger (and I think there was), I didn't really notice because I only had to wait like three days for Endsinger.
Speaking of putting things off - I've been sitting on this review for about two weeks because I just didn't know where to take it. I almost did a review style similar to that of Stormdancer, but my love for Kinslayer is too serious for that. Kristoff's writing is beautiful, and his world-building and character-creating skills are cemented in my mind forever after reading this novel.
You can read a lot of Kinslayer reviews and be told how awesome Michi is (she is), find out about Yukiko's problems (she has more than ninety-nine), and be told that you will fall in love with Hana and Daken. It's great to have all of these badass females in one book. However, the most spectacular part of the novel (I'm trying to be spoiler-free) comes when Yukiko goes looking for information about the Kenning and why it's going crazy on her. Let me just say that I was driving alone at night while I was listening to that part, and I almost turned off the audiobook because it was creeping me the hell out. Almost. You know, because this book was too good to put down.
I expected to be devastated while reading Kinslayer based on other reviews, but it wasn't too awful. I mean yes, my heart was stomped, smashed, and salted as I went through the book, but there was no ugly tears. Oh, and just so you know - I fell in love with Kin in the last book, and my mind hasn't changed about him. So bite me.
I could also go on about the political and environmental aspects of The Lotus War, but that would really make me tired. And it would feel like you're reading my book report, but it's there. Wily Jay Kristoff sneaks in smart things and makes you question the way we're treating our own world. I bet he's a sly Kitsune fox himself.
I've recommended this series to a lot of people, and I haven't had anyone come back and hit me with the books yet. Well, I have had some irate people jump my case because we don't have Endsinger at the library yet, but that's not my fault. Anywho, I don't care what kind of books you like, you should read these. They're high quality and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Oh, and just so you know - "Kinslayer" isn't what I thought it was. It probably isn't what you think it is either. If you want to know, you'll have to read the book.
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond